We sat down with them to find out more about this new chapter—how they’re managing their home, money, and life with the help of their Simple Shared Account.
Getting financially acquainted
Despite keeping their money separate for so long, 23-year-old web developer Caroline and 27-year-old screenwriter Vincent felt like they knew a lot about each other’s finances. They’d been sharing what they earn, what they owe, and what they value throughout their relationship—long before they considered opening a joint checking account.
Caroline shared, “We have been together for a while and know each other really well at this point. For instance, we have similar interests and values on certain things, like cooking, so we both agree to spend a bit of extra money on nicer things when they’re kitchen-related.”
The couple seems to find talking about money very easy, which is different from the usual feelings of fear, guilt, shame, and envy that many people admit to feeling when talking about money.
They freely admit that their ability to communicate confidently about money is strange, and have even caught themselves asking if they’re missing something. “But I don’t think these types of talks have to be hard,” Caroline qualified.
Vincent agreed, adding, “We’ve been honest with each other all along, which I think helps us avoid tough conversations.”
Caroline adds that her parents set a good example for her to follow: “I was lucky to have smart role models in my family who were happy to scare me out of living beyond my means, and that gave me a good baseline to go from. Now, I’m purposeful with where and how I spend money.”
Building a life together with a Simple joint account
Until this point, Caroline and Vincent hadn’t shared money past the typical, “You get this dinner, I’ll get the next one,” commonly seen in relationships.
Getting a joint bank account meant that the pair could organize their Expenses and Goals easily and collaboratively, all while learning what it would take to run their home together.
Caroline shared, “Opening a joint account made it easy to start saving jointly before we even moved in together and set the apartment up. It felt like we were putting our ducks in a row and figuring out what it would be like to actually live together.”
Planning for shared expenses
They started by setting up Expenses in their Shared Account for rent, utilities and the internet. They also set up Goals for bigger-ticket items they wanted to buy for their new place, like furniture.
“Seeing it broken down like this makes me feel like I’m planning responsibly,” shared Caroline. “(We’re) not going to fall behind on utilities or something else this month, or any other month, because everything’s planned in our Shared Account.”
Understanding what’s yours, mine, and ours
While they share groceries, utilities, and other shared expenses in their Shared Account, Caroline and Vincent continue to use their individual accounts with Simple for their personal expenses and savings.
“It was pretty easy to figure out what would go under the umbrella of shared or personal expenses,” Caroline explained. For example, “Vincent bought socks on his individual [Simple Visa® debit] card, because there’s not a good chance that I’ll be using his socks.”
“You say that now!” says Vincent.
Tip: If you accidentally pay for something using your individual account instead of your Shared account or vice versa, it’s not a big deal. You can instantly send money between Simple accounts with no fees!
Keeping track of what’s Safe-to-Spend®
With their shared Expenses covered, the couple enjoys using Safe-to-Spend® to know how much is available to treat themselves. “Together, Vincent and I have made a real effort to never have our [Safe-to-Spend in our] Shared Account empty. It makes getting dinner out, or a piece of home decor, pleasant and worry-free.”
If they end up overspending in a month, the couple will pull up their Simple account, look through their account activity, and work out ways to change their habits in future. Caroline and Vincent agreed that this kind of frequent, honest communication has helped them feel more comfortable using their joint account.
He added: “You have to get used to talking to each other about money, and to the idea that there’s a certain amount of transparency in both of your finances (required).”
“I think one way that might help people avoid negative feelings when it comes to sharing money is to start treating any shared funds as genuinely both of yours, even if you contribute different amounts. Part of the ease and transparency of sharing expenses is that you both take accountability for the expenses you share, and what’s leftover; you shouldn’t have to worry about who’s contributing or spending more.”
Setting small goals for the future
As Caroline and Vincent settle comfortably into living together, they’re starting to think about next steps. “Traveling with Vincent would be great, but I’m not sure of how to even start saving for it; it still seems very far off to me.”
For now, their Simple Goals are much more achievable (and definitely relatable). “We’ve got Goals going that aren’t related to our monthly expenses,” says Caroline. “I mean, I set up a Goal for new toothbrushes without Vincent’s permission, but I think the money’s still in there, and he can take it out if he disagrees.”
Vincent replies, “So I guess that answers that question. What does our future hold? Toothbrushes, apparently!”
Disclaimer: Hey! Welcome to our disclaimer. Here’s what you need to know to safely consume this blog post: Any outbound links in this post will take you away from Simple.com, to external sites in the wilds of the internet; neither Simple nor our partner bank, BBVA Compass, endorse any linked-to websites. Caroline and Vincent are Simple customers, and were not paid, bartered with, or bribed to appear in this post.